Canon’s XH A1 captures sensitive documentaries

Calamari Productions, an independent television and digital media production company based in Indianapolis, is using Canon’s XH A1 HD camcorders to shoot a series of child-welfare documentaries throughout the nation.

The company, which has obtained state Supreme Court access in several states to film inside America’s child welfare system, needed to be as unobtrusive as possible during the production. This led to their choice of the XH A1 camcorder.

Weighing 4.6lbs, the camcorder measures 13.8in x 7.4in and is designed to shoot true 1080p HD video at 60i, 30F, or 24F frame rates. It captures light through a Canon 20x HD video zoom lens and directs it to three 1/3in native 1440 x 1080 16:9 CCDs with 1.67 million pixels per sensor.

The XH A1 HD camcorder uses the DIGIC DV II HD image processor and includes Total Image Control for customizing image and color settings, programmable Auto Exposure modes, SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer and Instant Auto Focus.

Calamari said the small size of the camcorder was a big consideration when the assignment called for shooting in courtrooms or jail cells. The camcorder, the company said, helps respect the fact that the courts do not want a circus atmosphere. The camcorder becomes the proverbial “fly on the wall” and shortens the window of time required for people to forget a video crew is present.